Peabody in the news

TV and radio presenter visits Pembury — and gives Peabody an exclusive interview.

Sara Cox recently visited Threads to record a special episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, for Children in Need.

The BBC charity and annual televised appeal has donated more than £196,000 to Threads over the past three years, with a further £11,000 from Peabody.

Sara Cox
Sara Cox (centre) with Pudsey Bear, Children in Need's mascot

A fashion and textile project for girls aged 10–18, Threads is held weekly at Pembury. Participants learn about all aspects of creating and designing clothes. The girls have featured in exhibitions, shows, and across broadcast, online and print media.  

A future in fashion

“I have seen for myself what Threads offers these young girls, which is not only the chance to form great friendships, but also the opportunity for them tap into their creative senses and learn new skills," said Sara Cox.

Peabody’s Director of Community Programmes, Veronica Kirwan, said: “Words cannot describe how Threads has helped to change the lives of so many young people and for that we thank BBC Children in Need and you, the general public who have donated to such a worthy cause.”

Since Threads launched in 2011...

  • 172 girls have registered with the project
  • 76 girls receive 1-2-1 mentoring support, and have reported increased self-esteem, confidence, ambition and curiosity
  • 50 have received an OCN Fashion Design accreditation
  • 6 are excelling in GCSE textiles as a direct result of their involvement
  • 2 have found work experience with high-end fashion outlets
  • 2 have entered fashion college

“I love coming to Threads. I have made lots of friends and developed so many skills,” says Rhea, 14.

The BBC Children in Need Sewing Bee will air on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Friday 24 October, all at 8pm on BBC2.

The episode featuring Threads is on Thursday 23 October. 

The BBC Children in Need Appeal Night will return to screens on Friday 14 November on BBC1.

Peabody interviews Sara Cox

What has impressed you most about this project?

I have seen for myself what Threads offers these young girls which is not only offers the chance for them to form great friendships but the opportunity for them tap into their creative senses and learn new skills which can enable them to get a foot on the career ladder.

Can you sew?

No, I would like to though. I used to watch my nanna make dresses but I don’t even know how to thread a needle. I did once make a key-ring in the shape of a bull for my dad who is a farmer. I’ll have to find out if he still has it.

Dressmaking is making a comeback, why is that?

I think it is a mixture of people wanting to be creative as well as thrifty. I think there are a lot of secret sewers out there. The reason The Great British Sewing Bee is so popular is because it captures people’s interest. It has a good heart and the audience like to laugh along with them and see the creations come alive.

Who is your fashion icon?

Cate Blanchette always looks fantastic on the red carpet as does Nick Grimshaw. He can wear a scraggy t-shirt and skinny jeans with trainers during the day then at night he’ll transform himself like Cinderella.

Who is your favourite designer?

I used to wear a lot of Vivienne Westwood. My favourite high street stores are those at Brent Cross shopping centre, it is my spiritual home. I love All Saints and also Fenwicks for their variety.

What is your favourite thing about BBC Children in Need?

I love the way it brings people together. Everyone is really fond of it as a charity and thousands pledge money to help disadvantaged children in the UK Being a mum of three, I can’t help but want to get involved to make sure as many children as possible are healthy and secure.

How have you fundraised for BBC Children in Need in the past?

I’ve done everything from making chocolate cakes to sell to my family — I got my two-year-old daughter to sell them so they couldn’t say no — to attending Terry Wogan’s annual BBC Children in Need gala lunch which auctions everything including holidays to the well-known and wealthy. It was great fun. We kept topping up their drinks so they would bid higher.